I’ve been going to Turkey’s Western and Southern shores for the last five years.I have got to know well the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
My most recent book ‘Poseidon’s Realm: A Voyage around the Aegean’ is mainly about sailing around that magical sea and discovering ancient Greece. But it also refers much to Turkey, to its long history and culture where East meets West.
I have many Turkish friends who have been exceptionally warm and hospitable. I have written over 25 articles, with many photographs, for the ‘Yelken Dunyasi'(Sailing World), about my Turkish travels. I also have had three books translated into Turkish in the past.
It is therefore with great sadness that I have learned of the recent failed coup. Many don’t want to see the armed forces back in power but at the same time they want to maintain the secular constitution and continue the separation of power, above all between politics and religion. A representative, parliamentary democracy is not necessarily the best but it is better than no democracy at all.
I am therefore horrified at the mass arrests and sackings in the judiciary, education, civil service, and journalism; the possible reintroduction of the death penalty; the suspension of civil liberties; and the state of emergency which allows the President and his close supporters to rule by decree.
As night undoubtedly falls on Turkey, I hope that bright light will eventually shine once again on the cities and countryside, the mountains and lakes, the land and the sea…